Recalling his first time playing on the Pyramid Stage in Glastonbury, Fatboy Slim said he “spent the rest of his career” getting back on stage.
The DJ, whose real name is Norman Cook, is now a household name but first performed as part of indie rock group The Housemartins at the Worthy Farm music festival more than three decades ago.
The Glastonbury Festival reopened this week for the first time in three years after being canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Cook, 58, one of the performers on the bill.
He told the festival’s local newspaper, the Glastonbury Free Press, about his first experience of performing at the event, saying: “He played with the Housemartins on the Pyramid Stage in 1986.
“To my great shame I thought it was full of old stoned bearded hippies who would have come from Stonehenge after the solstice. And we thought they were all going to throw mud at us. We were pleasantly surprised to find out that wasn’t the case at all.”
Other big names at Glastonbury in 1986 included The Pogues, The Waterboys, The Cure, Level 42, Simply Red and Madness.
Cook rose to fame as Fatboy Slim in 1996 with the release of the album Better Living Through Chemistry. His other musical hits include “Right Here”, “Right Now” and “Praise You”.
He said of playing with The Housemartins in 1986: “It was a pivotal moment for us. It was the biggest crowd we’ve ever played to.
“We played early afternoon, on a Sunday, and it was an even bigger shock to play in daylight for the first time.
“We punched well above our weight when we played the Pyramid Stage.
“We only released our debut album on the Monday after Glastonbury. I spent the rest of my career trying to get back on the Pyramid Stage.”
He has become a regular at Glastonbury and has announced three places on the bill this year, two and one which he says is “a bit of a goofy, under-the-radar set that’s a bit secretive”, and his son Woody will also be DJing this year.
He added of having performed at every Glastonbury since 1996: “Even though I didn’t get booked I turned up and Michael and Emily Eavis kindly found me an unannounced spot to play on a small stage”.
The musician said he’s looking forward to seeing Sir Paul McCartney, who will headline Saturday’s Pyramid Stage, as well as Australian electronic group The Avalanches.
When asked about his first sober Glastonbury, he told the Glastonbury Free Press: “My first sober Glastonbury was weird. So many crazy things happen in Glastonbury that you think they’re happening because you’re crazy.
“But I remember wandering around sober and realizing, no, there is actually a door in the middle of a field, and at night people knock on that door and wait for someone to open it. When you’re sober, you don’t take these things for granted.
“There’s a little club called Miniscule of Sound with bouncers and a tiny PA that fits about eight people and when I offered to DJ there they asked me to send them a demo tape and they might invite me in for the next one Consider night show.
“If I experienced that while drunk, I really would have assumed it was a feverish fantasy.”